From the website: comune di Palagonia
Every year across the globe, "World Refugee Day" is celebrated on the 20th June. It began 20 years ago as part of a UNHCR initiative to create a moment to reflect upon the difficult choices that refugees are often forced to make over the course of their lives spent looking for protection. For this reason: "The Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers in Mineo will be closed as soon as possible because it has proven to be the biggest rip off that perpetrates damage to asylum seekers as well as the local community." The mayor of Palagonia, Valerio Marletta, is in no doubt and his comments do not rest at that.
"It has absolutely nothing to do with solidarity," continues the mayor, "it is only the specular management of a structure that lies in an isolated zone and can be compared to a ghetto where migrants- asylum seekers live like detainees without any type of contact with the local community. To further complicate the situation, there is also the bureaucratic involvement. For months now the situation is practically at a standstill regarding the necessary times taken to process asylum applications and the Commission has 'elephantesque' processing times even for the permit of stay. All of the local government of Palagonia's offices will oppose this type of politics which diverts huge amounts of public money to a structure which after having been left by the Americans could never have expected to generate such a high income. As citizens, it is furthermore important to underline that we are hugely in favour of REAL initiatives of help and subsidiarity, such values which are at the base of every civil cohabitation. Yet we maintain that a reception centre such as Mineo is wrong, contradictory and above all, incompatible with the fundamental principles of solidarity amongst people."